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Castle, by ruffians, supposed to be employed by the queen and her paramour Mortimer, in the year 1327.
7. Edward III. succeeded in 1327. He was then under the tuition of his mother, who lived with Mortimer, and they endeavoured to keep possession of their power by executing many popular measures, and putting an end to all national differences with Scotland, for which Mortimer was created Earl of March. Edward, young as he was, 'was soon sensible of their designs. He surprized them in ( person), at the head of a few chosen friends, in the castle of Nottingham. Mortimer was hanged as a traitor at the common gallows of Tyburn, and the queen 'herself was shut up in confinement twenty-eight years, to her death. Upon the death of Charles the fair, king of France, Edward laid claim to the throne, and invaded France with a powerful army At Cressy, August 26, 1346, above 100,000 French were defeated, chiefly by the valour of the prince of Wales, who was but sixteen years of age, (his father being no more than thirty-four) though the Euglish did not exceed 30,000.” The loss of the French tar exceeded that of the English army. The battle of Poictiers was fought in 1356, between the prince of Wales and the French king John, but with very superior numbers on the part of the French, who were totally defeated, and the king and his favourite son Philip taken prisoners. The modesty and politeness with which the prince treated - his 'royal prisoners, was the brightest gern in his crown of victory.
9." Richard II. son of the Black Prince, (so called from the colour of his arinour) was only eleven years of age when be ascended the throne. So many men were employed in unsuccessful wars, that the common people like powder, receiving a spark of fire, all at once famed ont into rebellion under the conduct of Hall, a priest, Wat Tyler, Jack Straw, and others, the lowest of the people. The conduct of these insurgents was very violent, and in mány respects unjustifiable: but it cannot justly be denied, that the common people of England then laboured under many oppressions, particularly a poll tax. * Richard was not then above sixteen, but he acted with great spirit and wisdom. He faced the storm of the insurgents, at the head of the Londoners, while Walworth
the mayor, and Philpot an alderman, had the courage to put Tyler, the leader of the malcontects, to death, in the midst of his adherent3. Richard then associated to himself à new set of favourites. 1 He was deposed in full parliament, upon a formal charge of tyranny and misconduct: and soou after he is supposed to have been starved to death in prison, in the year 1399, the 34th of his age, and the 23d of his reign. He had no children by either of his two marriages. With him ended the line of the Plantagenets.
VI. The houses of Lancaster and York. 1. Henry IV. son of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward Ill. was settled on the throne of England, to the prejudice of the elder branches of Edward the Illd's family. A dangerous rebellion broke out under the old earl of Northumberland, and his son the fainous Henry Percy, sirnamed Hotspur, but it ended in the defeat of the rebels, chiefly by the valour of the prince of Wales. With equal good fortune Hepry, suppressed the insurrection of the Welch, under Owen Glendower; and by his prudent concessions to his parliament, to the comnions particularly, he at last conquered all opposition.
2. Henry V. ascended the throne in 1413. He was early engaged in a contest with France. He demanded a restitution of Normandy, and other provinces, that had been ravished from England in the preceding reigns ; also the payment of certain arrears due for king John's raysom, since the reign of Edward III, Availing himself of the distracted state of that kingdom by the Orleans and the Burgundy factions, he invaded it, where he first took Harfluer, and then defeated the French in the battle of Agincourt, which equalled those of Cressy and Poictiers in glory to the English, but exceeded them in its consequences, on account of the vast number of French princes of the blood, and other great noblemen, who were ihere killed. Henry made a triumphal entry into Paris, where the dauphin was proscribed; and after receiving the fealty of the French nobility, he returned to Eugland, to levy a force that might crush the dauphin and his Scotch auxiliaries. He probably
would have been successful, had he not died of a pleuritic disorder, in 1442, in the 34th year of his age, and the 10th of his reign,
3. Henry VI. sirnamed of Windsor, has no more than nine months old when, in consequence of te treaty of Troyes, concluded by his father with the Frruch court, he was proclaimed king of France as well as England. The duke of Bedford, who was regerit of France, perforined many glorious actions, and at last laid siege to Orleans, which, if taken, would have completed the conquests of France. The siege was raised by the valour and good conduct of the Maid of Orleans, a phenomenon bardly to be paralleled in history, she being of the lowest extraction, and bred a cow keeper, and sometimes a helper in stabtes in public inps. She must, notwithstanding, have possessed an amazing fund of sagacity, as well as valour, for after an unequalled train of heroic actions, and placing the crown upon her sovereign's head, she was taken prisoner hy the English in making a sally during the siege of Compeigne, who burnt her alive for a witch, at Roan, May 30, 1451. The power of the English in France was much weakened during this reign. For twelve years very unhappy and fatal contentions, reigned between the families of York and Lancaster, the first of which wore a white, the other a red rose, as badges of their party. These calamities lasted till the reign of Henry the seventh, who was of the house of Lancaster, but married the daughter of Edward the fourth, of the house of York, and, by virtue of this marriage, put an end to the daily disseusions between these different factions.
4. Edward IV. first of the line of York, was elected king in 1461. Before he was crowned, he marched against king Heury, (who was afterwards confined in the Tower of London,) and defeated him in the battle of Towton, in which 36,776 persons were slain. His subsequent wars with the brave earl of Warwick, whom he liad deceived, were long and bloody. He recovered Berwick from the Scots, and proclaimed war against France, but died before he could put his design in execution, in 1483, in the 238 year of his reign, and the 42d of his age. He left two sons by his queen, who had exercised her power with no
great prudence, by having nobilitated niany of her obscure relations.
5. Edward V. succeeded to the kingdom in name, but not in fact. For,
6. Richard III. is said to have put to death all that op posed his usurpation of the crown,' and by means of the duke of Buickingham, whom he' afterwards beheaded, to have accomplished his design. He is also said to have murdered king Henry with his own hands, and accusing ihe duke of Clarence of treason to liave caused him to be drowned in a butt of malınsey in the tower; his dutchess also, being pregnant, was poisoned a little time before. His nephew Edward V: with his younger brother were both murdered, it is said, by his contrivanice in the tower. But this fact has been doubted. Richard is also accused of having put to death his own wife, that he might be married to his niece, and the Historians of England, with the exception of Sir George Buck, all confirm this infernal design. "In a battle which took place between the earl of Richmond and Richard, who was at the head of 15,000 men, at Bosworth field, Richard, after displaying most astonishing acts of personal valour, was killed, having been first abandoned by a main division of his árniy, under Lord Stanley and his brother, in the year 1485.
VII. Che House of Tudor.
1. Henry VII. obtained the crown rather hy the success of his arms, than by any lineal title. He invited the queen dowager from Bretagne, confined ber in a monastery, and seized all her effects. Stanley earl of Derby, who had set the crown on his head, he caused to be executed as a traitor. He put to death the young earl of Warwick, the last of the Plantagenets, for the
purpose of marrying his son to the princess of Spain. To diminish the power of the nobility, and to replenish his own coffers with the spoils of his people, were the great objects of his reign. He died in 1509, aged 54.
2. Henry VIII. The conduct of this prince exhibited a perpetual struggle of violent passions. Nothing shows his strange disposition more, than his marriages. As soon as he bad dismissed Catharine of Arragon, he took Anna
Boleyn, whom he soon after condemned to the block. After Anne he married the lady Jane Seymour, who died in child-bed. Anne of Cleves he divorced. His fifth wife Catharine Howare being falsely accused of adultery, was beheaded. The sixth, Catharine Parr survived him. These tyrannical acts added to the condemnation of the gallant and accomplished Lord Surry, and of the facetious and learned Sir Thomas More, must consign him to the hatred of posterity. As a reward for writing against Martin Luther, he gained from pope Leo X. the title of Defender of the Faith ; and, thirteen years after, with the approbation of his parliament, he renounced the authority of the see of Rome, and was declared supreme head of the church of England. His passion for
the beautiful and unfortunate Anna Boleyn ipduced bim to free his country from the shackles of papal supremacy,
and began the reformation of religion, which was established in the reign of Elizabeth. This event formed a new and extraordinary epoch in the English history. It repressed the inordinate power of the clergy, abolished the monastic orders, and by founding religious principles upon Teason and Scripture alone, improved the manly seriousiness and inherent dignity of the British character. The reformation was highly favourable to civil as well as religious rights, and encouraged that spirit of free inquiry from which it derived its origin.* In his reign the Bible was ordered to be printed in English. Wales was united and incorporated with Eugland. Ireland was created into a kingdom, and Henry took the title of king, instead of tord, of Ireland. He reigned 38 years, dying in 1546, aged 56.
3. Edward VI. was but nine years of age at the tiine of his father's death, and after some disputes, the regency was settled in the person of his uncle, the earl of Hertford, afterwards the proctector, and duke of Somerset, a declared friend and patron of the reforination, and a bitter enemy to the see of Rome. Edward died of a deep consumption in 1553, in the 16th year of his age, and the 7th of his reign.
For a more detailed account of the Reformation, see Ecclesias-Atical History.